The Truth about Pregnancy Acne and Pigmentation and Some Tips for Pregnancy-Safe Skin Care
Have you noticed any strange breakouts since you got pregnant? Those pesky hormones are responsible! Yes, the very hormones that help you nurture and grow a human being are also responsible for some very annoying side-effects that are surely forcing you to devote more time to your pregnancy skin care than you’d like to.
If you’re suffering from skin-related problems, you’re not alone.
I also developed pigmentation during my first pregnancy. It was such a shot to my self-esteem! What happened to the glow I was supposed to have? I really resented why it was happening. But after a little bit of digging, I found out that 50% to 75% of all pregnant women suffer from acne, pigmentation or both. It just made me feel a tiny little bit better.
So here are some of the questions I asked myself about pregnancy skin-related problems and pregnancy safe skin care, along with my truthful answers:
Can you prevent pregnancy acne and pigmentation?
There’s a medical term (well, there’s two, if not more in fact, it’s that common!) for those dark, spotty, brown patches of skin that appear on so many of our foreheads, cheeks and other parts of our gorgeous faces during pregnancy – your doctor will call it chloasma or melisma. You can call it the “mask of pregnancy” and you have all the right to be mad about having to wear it for so long!
Why you and why now?
Well, while baby is forming inside you, a steep rise in oestrogen levels occurs in your body that causes the production of excess melanin.
Interestingly, while not pregnant, a lot of women will love for melanin to do its thing as this little hair and skin pigment helps us get that gorgeous tanned colour when exposed to sunlight (by the way, we all know the dangers that come with excess exposure to the sun, but that’s another topic!).
However, when we get pregnant, our melanin tends to get a little out of control and, as we all know, our skin suffers.
Not to worry. Fortunately, nature always has a way of balancing things out.
While your body is trying to handle that out-of-control melanin, it’s also busy producing 50% more blood than usual. Thankfully for you, this results in more blood circulation and a much brighter, glowing face. Your body is also producing a fair amount of hormones that cause your oil glands to work in overdrive, making your face all nice and shiny. Alright, I admit it, having a shiny and pigmented skin at the same time might not be the best combination but think to yourself that it’s only temporary and it’s certainly worth it!
Will this pigmentation last longer than pregnancy?
Good news! No, it won’t.
As soon as the melanin and all the other cheeky hormones recover their sanity and go back to their usual levels, your skin-related problems will subside. In fact, in most cases, skin discoloration is temporary and usually disappears after delivery. Others, well, you might just need to wait a little longer but certainly not after you finish breastfeeding your baby.
Plenty more time to look after your baby and a lot less in front of the mirror playing with all types of pregnancy skin care products!
Help! What helps reduce pigmentation or acne?
First rule – Protect yourself from the sun!
The reason being that the sun’s ultraviolet radiation stimulates the pigment cells in your epidermis to start making melanin. The more you are exposed, the more melanin gets produced, and we all know that melanin gets a bit unruly during pregnancy so the least we have to put up with it, the better.
Applying a good sunscreen rated at least SPF 15 (ideally 30 or more) whenever outdoors is the way to go. And if you want to add a touch of style, wear your favourite broad brim hat and a pair of sporting glam sunglasses. Stunning (and very safe)!
- Pregfit’s Organic Citrus Blemish Control from Novena (pulling a shameless plug here, but you allow me to, right?), with a 94% organic and 100% vegan content.
- Wash your face twice a day with warm water and a mild cleanser (not unlike our Novena Organic Fruit Facial Cleanser, (sorry, twice in a row, how naughty of me!).
- Avoid over-cleansing, as it can over-stimulate the skin’s oil glands.
- Avoid picking or squeezing acne sores, you’ll only make it worse, spreading infections and causing scarring.
- Use oil-free, water-based cosmetics.
- Take folic acid (since a number of studies have shown that a folate deficiency can be related to hyperpigmentation). Make sure you include oranges, green leafy veggies, whole-wheat bread and whole-grain cereal in your diet.
And here is the final plug for the day – After personally enduring the emotional pain of having pregnancy pigmentation, I sourced pregnancy safe skin care products everywhere in the world to help mums-to-be deal with this frustrating problem. You can check out the full range here.
Did you find this content useful? If you’d like more tips on pregnancy health and wellbeing, sign up to my list below.
And if you’ve found a particularly powerful remedy for pregnancy acne or pigmentation, please share it in the comments below. You never know how you may be helping another pregnant mama.
With love, Angela